Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone. Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas! As you know the day after Halloween marks the official start to the Christmas Holiday Season.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dreams of Kirina

The Playing For Change Foundation is building a new music school in the Village of Kirina, Mali.  Kirina is a village of musicians, some of whom can trace their musical ancestry back over 75 generations!  In this very special episode West African music legend Baaba Maal and friends perform for the village elders in honor of the new "Playing For Life" music school that is just beginning construction.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flooring with the Dewalt DCF895

I was helping my son with his kitchen renovation. We were working with a cement type backer board which incredibly dense (and heavy).

I had taken along my Makita cordless and figured we'd work together drilling down the flooring.

My son's latest purchase was this Dewalt 895 driver. In typical fatherly fashion I  was ready to tease him about such an expensive purchase since I knew he already owned a cordless drill. My opinion changed abruptly when I actually used this powerhouse.

My poor Makita just couldn't hack driving screws through cement board. I ended up putting it back into its case. Considering each 3 foot by 5  foot board requires enough screws to be spaced 8 inches apart, it kept going and going. I finally asked when the battery was going to run flat (as they say in England).

I was intrigued by the fact that this uses a brushless motor. I couldn't fathom how you can get a direct current motor to work without brushes. I guess I haven't been paying attention to technology advances in the last few decades.

I grew up in an era where the kitchen mixer, electric drills and blenders would send out a stream of sparks as the brushes would rub against the commutator, reversing the current flow, reversing the magnetic field of the armature and creating the torque of the device. These appliances and tools used series motors which have their greatest torque when stalled. Just the thing when you are trying to mix up some thick cookie dough or drill through a brick. The brushes eventually wear out and I've actually changed a few in my time.

The brushless direct current  motors are actually being powered by alternating current produces by electronic circuitry, since all electric motors require a switching of the magnetic field.

I found a flash animation that demonstrates this.

The subfloor is down, it is not going anywhere since it is set in cement and screwed in place. My knees ache even with the knee pads and we still have the tiling to do. I wish there was a tool to make that easier.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bluegrass Jam - Oct 14, 2012

Had a great time playing and listening to music with the MMMJ crowd in Temple NH.

I have created a Facebook Page for the group which will have listings for the Jams and other music venues.

Here are a few photos:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Earthquake 7:13PM - Oct 16th 2012

Earthquake epicenter was  43.611°N 70.661°W depth=5.0km (3.1mi) (Maine)

Felt it distinctly at 7:13PM here in New Ipswich. Naturally the phones went dead as folks would call and say "Did you feel that".